Mexican foreleg tarantula

Cool, not creepy!

A pair of coconut crabs eye one another

With their long legs, or strong claws, or even just myths about them, some animals are called scary when they’re really super interesting!

Goliath bird-eating spider

Pest control

Did you know the tarantula is a shy creature that helps its environment by keeping the insect population under control? If it feels threatened, a tarantula will try to scare off a predator first by flinging detachable hairs from its body that cause itching.

Kenny the coconut crab

Get cracking!

The coconut crab also has many legs but is a lot bigger than a tarantula—they can grow to weigh 9 pounds and measure 3 feet from leg to leg. And look at this animal’s name—can you guess what one of its favorite foods is? That’s right—coconuts! It uses its strong claws to first scrape away parts of the hard shell until it can crack it open for a meal.

Rodrigues fruit bat

Don't be scared

And speaking of meals, stories about what bats like to eat help cause people to fear these flying mammals. Most bats eat fruit, nectar, insects, or small animals—and only the vampire bat drinks blood (and only small amounts from animals). Bats make up one-quarter of all mammal species on Earth!

So as you can see, there are a lot of different kinds of animals, and they all play a role in the world. That’s cool—not creepy!